Mining Industry Afraid of Mount Polly Spill Consequences

Mining association of B.C. has mentioned that the Mount Polley spill might lead to charges against the entire industry, just as the First Nations leaders predicted the disaster will affect other resource projects and vowed to push for a public inquiry if they do not get answers they are seeking. Mount Polley copper and gold mine, owned by Imperial Metals Corp, ended up spilling  millions of cubic metres of waste from a tailings pond into central B.C. waterways on Monday.

Vice-president of environment and technical affairs for the Mining Association of B.C., Angela Waterman, alleged that majority of facts about the spill are unknown and it is likely that this would lead to consequences for other mining outfits when the results of investigations come out. Waterman mentioned during an interview on Thursday that “we’ll have to wait for the report to find out what the underlying cause was, and everybody’s very interested in the findings. And from the findings there will always be learnings, and from that may come new recommendations for industry.”

Additionally, Ms. Waterman called the spill “an anomaly” and said she remains optimistic about the industry long-term. She defended current regulations on the frequency of mines must have inspections, which First Nations and conservation groups have decried as inadequate. She said that “all dams are subject to annual formal inspections, at a minimum. Generally, there’s many more inspections. A mine could have an inspection by somebody from the Ministry of Mines at any time.”

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